1 of 3 remaining Pearl Harbor survivors attends remembrance ceremony, held days after shooting tragedy

1 of 3 remaining Pearl Harbor survivors attends remembrance ceremony, held days after shooting tragedy

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — December 7, 2019 marks 78 years after the Japanese launched a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and three days after a gunman opened fire at the naval base, killing two civilians and then himself.

Despite the fresh tragedy, the National Park Service and Navy are hosting a memorial ceremony, and one of the surviving members of the 1941 attack is attending.

Lou Contor arrived in Hawaii with a hero’s welcome: A wall of sailors saluted the 98-year-old veteran moments after he deboarded his plane.

Contor was only one of three survivors from the USS Arizona able to travel and attend the 2019 ceremony.

“They’re getting better every year,” he said when asked to describe his emotions. “First years were real hard.”

On December 7, 1941, Conter was serving as a quartermaster third class on the Arizona when the Japanese attacked.

More than 2,400 Americans were killed and over 1,000 were wounded during the bombings. More than 300 aircraft and 19 Navy ships, including eight battleships, were damaged or destroyed.

The next day the U.S. declared war against Japan. When asking Congress for a Declaration of War, President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously called the attack “a date which will live in infamy.”

“You never forget the day, but things are happening so fast. And we’re highly trained in those days to do what our job is to do, and that’s what we did,” Contor said.

For nearly 30 years, he has returned to pay his respects. This year, the remains of this late comrade Lauren Bruner will be returned to the ship.

“He got out the same as I did. Got home, got married had children, had grandchildren,” Contor said.

His family hopes they can keep this annual tradition.

“You have to pay respect to the ones who went to their battle stations … We pay tribute to the ones who didn’t make it,” he said.

Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Published at Sat, 07 Dec 2019 15:34:31 +0000

White Guys Buy Stuff Together in Perfect Chinese, Shock Locals

White Guys Buy Stuff Together in Perfect Chinese, Shock Locals

My friend Evan and I, two white guys who speak extremely good Mandarin and some Cantonese, went grocery shopping in NYC Chinatown the other day. We walked up to various Chinese vendors, started speaking with them in English, and then switched over mid-conversation to Mandarin and Cantonese. Their reactions were hilarious! Hope you enjoy this day in our lives! And hopefully this is helpful to you guys in your language learning journeys!

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‘Grinch Bots’ Are Here to Ruin Your Holiday Shopping

‘Grinch Bots’ Are Here to Ruin Your Holiday Shopping

Consumers may think they’re avoiding the crush this holiday season by shopping online, unaware that as they’re trying to get through the digital doors, so too are hordes of bots. And they’re throwing elbows, NBC News reports.

Up to 97 percent of all online traffic to retailer login pages this holiday shopping week comes from bots, largely operated by organized gangs of cybercriminals, according to estimates by cybersecurity firm Radware.

The bots fill out online forms and navigate retail sites faster than a real person can, and try to swiftly purchase limited supply gifts before you’ve even filled up your cart. The items are then sold for a higher price on third-party sites. The cyber thieves also crack into accounts, drain accounts of rewards and other digital currency, conduct credit card fraud, and more, said Ron Winward, a Radware spokesman.

Published at Sun, 01 Dec 2019 22:23:31 +0000

Survey has Elmhurst Park District taking another look at projects, referendum

Survey has Elmhurst Park District taking another look at projects, referendum

Until recently, it appeared that Elmhurst Park District was preparing to put a referendum question on the ballot next year to pay for roughly $105 million in capital projects.

But the results of a new survey have park district officials rethinking that idea.


“The community has seemed to indicate that they are not in support of funding the plan at the level that was proposed in the survey,” Executive Director Jim Rogers said Thursday.

The survey of more than 1,100 registered voters was done to gauge the support for funding projects in the district’s long-term improvement plan, called Vision 2020.

Projects listed in Vision 2020 include acquiring land, building an indoor sports center, building a new adult center, creating a dog park, building a new parks maintenance facility, and replacing the Wagner Community Center and Eldridge Park Recreation Building.

But doing all of the projects would cost money — an estimated $105.2 million, with an annual operating subsidy of $2.5 million.

There was talk of a referendum that would ask to roughly double the district’s property tax levy. But district officials wanted to see the survey results before deciding whether to pursue the tax increase.


Now it appears voters don’t support the estimated price tag of doing all the projects.

“So the next step is for the park board and staff to do a thorough examination of the survey results and work to refine the plans,” Rogers said.

That process already has started and will continue when the park board meets Monday night.

Options the park board will consider include scaling back or delaying certain projects to reduce costs.

One decision involves the future of the Kieft Brothers Inc. property at 837 S. Riverside Drive. In September, the district placed a contingency-based offer on the 16.4-acre site for the new indoor sports center.

It’s possible the board could postpone the estimated $57 million building project and still want the land. But to raise the $15 million to buy the property, the district would need voters to approve a request in a March referendum.


And that leads to the big decision about whether the district will put a question on the ballot.

“Do we look to refine the plans potentially go to referendum in March?” Rogers said. “Do we maybe refine the plans and get more community input and not go until next November? Or another option, obviously, would be to not go to referendum.”

The board has until Dec. 30 to decide whether to put a question on the March 17 ballot.

In the meantime, Rogers said, “Literally no decisions have been made yet.”

The park board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, at the district’s administrative office, 375 W. First St. At that time, the board will continue its review and discussion of the future of the proposed projects.

Published at Fri, 06 Dec 2019 05:06:38 +0000

Fallen ISP Trooper Chris Lambert honored with I-294 highway dedication

Fallen ISP Trooper Chris Lambert honored with I-294 highway dedication

ROSEMONT, Ill. (WLS) — A special ceremony was held Thursday morning for fallen Illinois State Trooper Chris Lambert,who was fatally struck on I-294 in Northbrook earlier this year.

The dedication ceremony was held in the Rosemont Theater and featured a ISP patrol car parked outside the ceremony draped in a purple ribbon.

“This memorial highway dedication will ensure everyone remembers and no one ever forgets the sacrifice Chris and his loved ones made On January 12, 2019,” said Brendan Kelly, Director of Illinois State Police. “He deserves much more and nothing less than that.”

Officials dedicated the section of I-294 between mile marker 49.25 and 50 in Cook County as the “ISP Trooper Lambert Highway”.

Illinois State Police, elected officials, friends, colleagues and family members were in attendance.

“We have to not just recognized the life that Chris lived but also focus on what we can do to do better and honor his work, honor what he stood for to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said Illinois State Rep. Bob Morgan.

RELATED: Illinois State Police mourn trooper fatally struck on I-294 in Northbrook

34-year-old Lambert worked at ISP’s District 15 and was headed home to Highland Park when he stopped at the scene of a three-vehicle crash in the northbound lanes at milepost 49.25, near Willow Road.

Lambert was a U.S. Army Veteran and served with the ISP for five years.

Illinois State Police Trooper Chris Lambert

Lambert is survived by his wife and two daughters. Lambert’s first daughter was one-year-old at the time of his death. Lambert’s wife was pregnant with their second child at the time of his death and gave birth earlier this year.

WATCH: Full “ISP Trooper Lambert Highway” dedication ceremony

State police called his death is a tremendous loss that should have never happened.

Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Published at Fri, 06 Dec 2019 05:10:38 +0000

Local union leaders send Fiat Chrysler contract to members

Local union leaders send Fiat Chrysler contract to members

DETROIT — Union leaders from Fiat Chrysler factories are sending a new four-year contract to a membership vote.

The 47,000 members of the United Auto Workers union at the company will vote on the deal starting Friday.


Local leaders assembled on Wednesday in Detroit to go over the pact, which includes a $9,000 bonus per worker upon ratification. The company also has promised $4.5 billion worth of new investments in U.S. factories.

The union reached agreement with Fiat Chrysler last weekend. The new contract also offers a mix of lump sums and pay raises for longtime workers, full top wages for new hires within four years and a path for temporary employees to become full-time after three years of work.

The Fiat Chrysler contract also adds 12.5% to the union workers’ profit-sharing formula, giving them $900 per 1% of profit margin generated North American. That’s up from $800, and a $12,000 cap was lifted. The UAW says the deal created more than 7,900 jobs, including a $4.5 billion investment previously announced at two factories in Detroit.

Fiat Chrysler is the last of the Detroit automakers to settle with the union. Workers at General Motors ratified their contract Oct. 31, ending a 40-day strike that paralyzed GM’s U.S. factories. Ford workers followed by approving a contract in November.


In a summary of the contract, the union said FCA agreed to extend a moratorium on outsourcing of jobs and will maintain its U.S. manufacturing presence through the life of the contract.

The $9 billion of factory investment includes $4.5 billion previously announced at two factories in Detroit, including a new assembly plant.

Also included is an agreement to build fresh models off the Jeep Cherokee SUV underpinnings and invest $55 million into the Belvidere, Illinois, assembly plant, where the Cherokee is built.

At the Toledo, Ohio, North Assembly plant, which builds the Jeep Wrangler SUV, the company will invest $160 million and hire 100 more people to build a plug-in hybrid version of the Wrangler. The Toledo South plant gets $120 million to keep building the Jeep Gladiator pickup.

At an assembly plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, Fiat Chrysler will invest $210 million to keep building light-duty Ram pickup and new high-performance version of the truck.


Another truck plant in Warren, Michigan, will get $2.8 billion including engineering and development expenses to keep building the Ram pickup and a new three-row SUV called the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. A plug-in hybrid version of the SUV is coming in 2021.

Mike Booth, president of a UAW local in Marysville, Michigan, north of Detroit, said he made a plea to the leaders at the meeting to reject the deal. Although there was some dissent, the contract was approved on a voice vote, he said.

Under the contract, Booth’s factory, which makes truck axles, would be transferred by Fiat Chrysler to auto parts supply company ZF-TRW. The plant’s 800 workers are Fiat Chrysler employees and will have to transfer to jobs in Detroit.

Booth alleges that corrupt union officials who were bribed by the company agreed to the change. The union local has sued the international UAW and Fiat Chrysler in an effort to block the transfer.

The International UAW has been rocked by a bribery and embezzlement scandal that began at the jointly run Fiat Chrysler-UAW training center. Two former vice presidents who negotiated with FCA are alleged by federal officials to have taken bribes to influence contract negotiations.

Published at Wed, 04 Dec 2019 22:42:00 +0000

Chicago cop who had officers babysit his son is demoted

Chicago cop who had officers babysit his son is demoted

CHICAGO — Chicago’s interim police superintendent has demoted a commander whom the city’s inspector general accused of directing on-duty officers under him to babysit his son with special needs.

Interim Superintendent Charlie Beck’s demotion of Commander Anthony Escamilla to captain on Tuesday is one of the first moves by Beck after Mayor Lori Lightfoot made her stunning announcement Monday that she was firing Superintendent Eddie Johnson because she said he lied to her about his behavior the night in October when he was found asleep in his running vehicle.


The Chicago Tribune reports that the demotion comes nearly a year after Inspector General Joseph Ferguson’s office recommended the possible firing of Escamilla. At the time, Johnson chose instead to suspend Escamilla for seven days.

Published at Wed, 04 Dec 2019 02:33:00 +0000

49ers Suspend Broadcaster After ‘Dark Skin Color’ Comments

49ers Suspend Broadcaster After ‘Dark Skin Color’ Comments

The San Francisco 49ers have suspended broadcaster Tim Ryan for one game after his comments about Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson earlier this week.

During his weekly radio show “Murph and Mac” on Monday, Ryan talked about how Jackson’s “skin color” made him more effective against the 49ers defense.

“He’s really good at that fake, Lamar Jackson, but when you consider his dark skin color with a dark football with a dark uniform, you could not see that thing. I mean you literally could not see when he was in and out of the mesh point,” he said.

Ryan has since issued a statement stating:

National Transportation Safety Board via AP

“I regret my choice of words in trying to describe the conditions of the game. Lamar Jackson is an MVP-caliber player and I respect him greatly. I want to sincerely apologize to him and anyone else I offended.”

The 49ers released the following statement Wednesday:

“We are disappointed in Tim Ryan’s comments earlier this week, and have suspended him for the upcoming game. We hold Tim to a high standard as a representative of our organization and he must be more thoughtful with his words. Tim has expressed remorse in a public statement and has also done so with us privately. We know Tim as a man of high integrity and are confident he will grow and learn from this experience. We have reached out to the Baltimore Ravens organization to extend our apologies and assure them the matter is not being taken lightly.”

Rev. Jethroe Moore II, the President of NAACP Silicon Valley/San Jose, says he’d like to meet with Ryan before he returns from the suspension.

“Part of his coming back should be coming to meet with members of the African-American community for better understanding of how those words can be hurtful,” Moore said. “That includes the 49er players and actually letting them talk about how they feel about the comments.”

Published at Thu, 05 Dec 2019 06:57:00 +0000